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I am Maika Kobayashi, known as a painter and muralist for my precise, hand-painted acrylic realistic paintings. I began my career as an artist with my first solo exhibition in New York in 2010. My creative activities span mural production, stage art, art provision for TV dramas, collaboration products with brands and companies, and artwork provision to music artists. Since 2015, I have expanded my exhibition activities abroad, basing myself in the UK until 2017, during which time I held solo exhibitions in New York, Los Angeles, London, and Amsterdam.

In 2018, I launched and founded the performance group "Kooya -KOOYA-" to create a new world that transcends the limits of the canvas. The art I express is not confined to any form. It challenges multidimensional expressions through sound, light, and movement, beyond flat surfaces and three-dimensional spaces. Merging dance with unique beauty different from canvas paintings, I depict a glamorous, mysterious, and powerful world on stage. The works our team creates inspire new inspirations and pursue the limits of unknown expressions. Thus, I not only serve as a painter but also direct comprehensive arts involving dancers, composers, video artists, photographers, and fashion designers. Starting with domestic performances like "Spring Dream Shared Mirror," I have expanded my activities worldwide, performing at London's Hyper Japan and France's Japan Expo Paris, and achieving the first solo performance by a Japanese in Paris, steadily building my track record. In November 2019, during the ASEAN Summit in Thailand, I performed at Lhong1919, inviting embassy officials in Thailand, contributing to significant international exchange between Japan and Thailand. In January 2020, I performed all day at the Edo stage in Haneda Airport International Terminal and then appeared on four stages at JAPAN EXPO Thailand 2020, Asia's largest Japanese cultural exposition. In February of the same year, I performed at the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC), and in July, I participated in JAPAN EXPO Malaysia GOES VIRTUAL, broadcasting my activities to the world through online events and video production.

Since 2019, I have focused on working as a muralist, planning a "National Mural Pilgrimage" to travel all over Japan, leaving murals in 15 out of 47 prefectures to date. In 2020, I hosted the "Art Can Help You" art project in Bangkok themed on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), attracting 1,500 participants over three days. This project was highly acclaimed domestically, featured on Fuji Television's "Future Runners – 17 Futures" as a muralist coloring the town with my wish. I believe there's something more that my art can achieve, aiming to provide art that allows everyone to lead a colorful life. I conduct events where I paint with citizens, striving to offer art that anyone can participate in by also developing paints for the visually impaired. As of 2024, I am producing a multisensory workshop "OPAQUE - The Touch of Darkness," where participants paint relying solely on the scent of the paint while blindfolded, in collaboration with educational institutions.

In 2021, I moved from Tokyo to Yamagata and continued my public art projects in collaboration with local governments. The murals I've painted at stations, roadside stations, and shopping streets have been registered as city assets. I feel that the impact of art in rural cities is significant and lasting compared to the rapidly changing urban centers. Through "Local × Art," I aim not merely for self-expression but for works that empathize with the local history, culture, or people's feelings. "The lost history," "the buried culture," "the memories we want to cherish" - I capture these from the same perspective as the locals, integrating them with my unique worldview and vividly expressing them. The completed art not only provides comfort and hope to the locals but also invokes fresh nostalgia for visitors from the city. My art serves as a catalyst for various actions and encounters, acting as a bridge to the region.

Not Letting Art End as Art

Throughout my career, I have painted in various environments beyond the canvas. Sometimes on the large walls of a town, or on the shutters of a shopping street. This has strengthened my belief that there's more my art can do. Art, which merely exists, can sometimes attract people, connect them, and eventually become something that is desired to "always be there." The point of art I create connects one person, one second, blending into the streets, lives, and history. That is the form of art I aim for.


Painting is the origin of my works.
When I started working as a painter, when I was painting based in overseas, when I was working on stage production, when I was visiting local places to paint murals....... I always get stimulated by new experiences.
I find a lot of things that I want to draw, which makes me sit in front of the canvas.
With my identity “painting” I would like to keep expressing what I feel, including inspirations I get from a wide range of activities.

Muralist 壁画師

I painted murals all over the country.
After painting a lot of murals, I began to think about what painting could mean to people's lives.
Although I have been drawing "paintings made to be close to someone's life" I still want to keep drawing "paintings made for myself in a small room" as well.
Anyway, I feel very happy to see "a view not for anyone else" has been becoming an important view for someone.

Stage Producer舞台演出家

We have formed a performance group “KOOYA” and have been holding Japanese-themed shows in Japan and overseas.
I used to belong to a drama club when I was in middle school and I have liked stage production for a long time.
When I produce a stage, I can skip the surface of the canvas to "paint" what I have in mind, using different methods of expression such as costume, stage art, and music.
I can express my ideas with other than drawing, which always makes me excited.
By "drawing" on props and costumes, I hope my stage production gets people interested in Art, even just a little bit.